NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of Sun Bancorp ( SNBC) soared Thursday after the Vineland, N.J.-based bank received a $100 million capital infusion from an investor group led by private equity firm W.L. Ross & Co. The deal also includes the bank's founding Brown Family shareholders, and others. After completion of the transaction, W.L. Ross would control roughly 24.9% of Sun Bancorp's common stock, a stake that reflects full conversion of newly authorized convertible preferred shares included in the deal. In its statement, Sun Bancorp said W.L. Ross will own the common stock at a price of $4 per share, a premium of 11% to Wednesday's closing price of $3.61.
The shares, however, were changing hands at $5.08 in recent trades, up roughly 41% for the session, with buyers rushing to follow along with the PE firm's namesake, Wilbur Ross, a respected investor in the buyout world who made his reputation with distressed investments. With minutes left in the session, volume in the stock exceeded 1.34 million, well beyond the issue's trailing three-month daily average of 133,425, according to Yahoo Finance. Ross also hinted that the investment may be one of many for his firm in New Jersey banks, telling the New York Times that the Garden State has an excess of small community institutions. "The next 18 banks in size after this one, together, have around $5 billion in deposits, and there's another 100-some-odd banks that, in total, have $40 billion in deposits," Ross said in the New York Times article. "That's just way too many banks for one state to have." Sun Bancorp said it expects its total risk-based capital ratio to be at or above 14%, Tier 1 risk-based capital at or above 13% and leverage ratio at or above 11.75% upon the transaction's completion, which is subject to regulatory approvals and other closing conditions. The bank noted that these levels are all "significantly above the general standards to be considered well-capitalized." The infusion also brings Sun Bancorp above the minimum capital requirements imposed on it by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency back in April, the company said. -- Written by Michael Baron in New York.